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8 January 2011

At www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/11/2010/exploring-pella-bronze-age-temple-complex/ … a fortified stone temple complex at Pella in the northern Jordan Valley has remained undisturbed since it was destroyed – allegedly in around 800BC. Archaeologists have found six distinct phases in the history of the temple – which have a bearing on chronology, one on top of each other and going back as far as 1900BC, it is thought. Three of the temples were destroyed by fire, among other things, which sealed distinct assemblages of cult objects. The first two temples were quite small and made of mud brick and the archaeologists have juxtaposed them within the Middle Kingdom period. These were levelled and a stone and mudbrick fortress or a tower temple was laid across the ruins in between 1650 and1500BC, architecturally similar to migdol temples found elsewhere in Syria-Palestine. Moving forwards it was found the Late Bronze Age temple was destroyed by an earthquake – not by the Sea Peoples or any other group of marauders. A new temple was constructed in the Iron Age with a completely different ground plan – but the site is still being investigated in a series of annual digs. Stephen Bourke, the Australian archaeologist directing the Pella excavations has also excavated at Chalcolithic Teleilat Ghassul and Tell Nebi Mend (Kadesh on the Orontes) – see also http://acl.arts.usyd.edu.au/neaf/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=18&1temid=39

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